Written by Cindy Judge
Photos by Margaret Henry
The volunteer team comes from all over the United States….each with her own story which she has had the opportunity to share today, the first full day of the Croatia Retreat for volunteers. Many have come with a friend or relative. Many have come with a church group, coming from Midland, Texas area or the Wheaton, Illinois area.
While interviewing a first time volunteer from Wheaton Bible Church, Donna shared that a few years ago someone in her Bible study group talked about a Thrive Retreat. Her sister-in-law and a friend decided to go to one in Brazil. They came back very excited and Donna thought she may go some year.
Donna has a great desire to be a part of women ministering to women. Many of the women in her small group say she is an encourager and so she says she wanted to use her gift in a different environment with women who are unlike herself.
Now she is here in Dubrovnik, Croatia with that sister-in-law, (who volunteers often) and Donna shared some things that stood out to her today during these first days of preparation before the attendees arrive. We will share many of Thrive’s values throughout the next 8 days on this blog, but ENCOURAGEMENT is probably one of the highest values that Thrive is committed to.
Thrive’s desire and aim to encourage the 101 global workers who will arrive in a couple days was what Donna expected, but the thing that stood out during this day was how she felt overwhelmed with encouragement for herself during this day of preparing for the attendees. Donna observed that though the volunteers will be leading these ladies into a deep experience of worship and prayer, she was so moved and impressed by the intentional way that the 32 volunteers were experiencing worship early in the morning followed by being prayed over individually in two very deliberate settings. It was a very emotional experience for her and a good day of preparation to serve.